Arequipa, Cusco and Machu Picchu

The first stop when you trip to Machu Picchu is the city of Arequipa, the beauty white city with lots of ancient churches and priest in black robes at the old fashion way. Arequipa by itself is an excelent touristic place. The old downtown from colonial times, with huge doors with nails, houses with big inner yards, balcony and front of white volcano stone beautifully carved is a very nice place for all those interested in colonial architecture.. Arequipa is relatively cheap compared with Chile, very good city if you are travelling in a budget. I dont reccomend trip by bus or any kind of land transportation, roads are not completly safe and you must beware from assaults as from policeman also. The most sure way is trip by plane wich is very, very cheap if you purchase your tiket from inner Perú (around USD 110 round any inner destination) plus an airport tax (very expensive for aliens)

Restaurants in Arequipa are cheap and with abundance of dishes. But ensure yourself that be fully explained about wich kind of meal are ordering, unless you are willing to risk to very hot or bizarre meals such as "cuy sajtado" a sort of laboratory rat (cobayo). Otherwise, in general terms, peruvian cuisine is excellent and very assorted.

One of the biggest atracctions for tourist in Peru are the folkloric "peñas" where you can enjoy the very rich peruvian folklore consisting in valses criollos, negroides, musica de la selva, andina, marineras and many others..

When I was in Arequipa I dont found any good "peña folklorica" but there are a very atractive place called "Blues Bar" wich is a sort of folkloric disco, with live tropical music, lots of people and charming corners in an old location.

The best season to visit Cusco is between june20 and 27 to the fest of sun "intiraimi" in the ruins of Sacsayhuamán. There comes descendant of incas from all over Perú and lots of tourists, folkloric perfomances and this sort of things..

The clasical tour includes Machu Picchu ruins, the fortress of Puca Pucara and the artesanal market of Pisaq. For treking there are the inca trail, the routes of Valle Sagrado, theCordillera de Vilcanota, the Monte Sagrado de Auzangate, and the small village of Moras.

In Valle Sagrado you can practice mountan bike, delta winds and parapente. In monte Salkanti you can make climbing and in Urubamba river kayaking.

Inside Cusco is a must a visit to the Catedral with his gold and silver atriums, the Santa Catalina convent, the home of l Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, the neighorhood of San Blas with mancrafts and the Museo de Míusica Autóctona. Out of city is there thechurch of Handahuyllas, the sixtine chapel of andine world.